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The desert town of Palm Springs and its neighbours, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells, are a major attraction for their spectacular scenery and their warm, dry climate - on average 350 days of sunshine a year and an average temperature in the 70s in January and low 100s in the summer months.
The resorts are a lesson in leisure and relaxation – many offering championship golf courses, giant, turquoise swimming pools, tennis facilities and lush, landscaped gardens.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway: The cable car, which takes you 2 miles up to over 8,500 feet in 20 minutes is an absolute must. On clear days, you can see some 75 miles. At the top, there is a restaurant and for the fit, there are some delightful walks.
Living Desert Wildlife and Botanical Park: See coyotes, mountain lions and golden eagles and follow trails through desert gardens with examples of some of the desert’s typical plants. One exhibit shows the San Andreas earthquake faultline.
Indian Canyons: Visit the home of the Agua Caliente Indians who chose this area for its abundance of water and wildlife. You can still see the remains of their lifestyle in the preserved rock art, house pits and stone houses. For the more adventurous, it’s also a brilliant starting point for some beautiful scenic hikes.
Palm Springs Desert Museum: Focuses on western and Native American art. It has a display on the natural history of the desert and the grounds have several stunning sculpture gardens.
Joshua Tree National Park: Immortalised by U2 Joshua Tree National Park is 794,000 acres of the most ruggedly beautiful scenery. Mountains of jagged rock, cactus gardens and oases surrounded by palm trees and the rows of Joshua trees make this a marvellous day out from Palm Springs.